Racism And The UCU

Having followed events in the AUT and UCU for years I find this disheartening in the 21st century:

“Mr Julius said the EUMC definition of antisemitism that the union rejected last year had been used successfully by other organisations. The National Union of Students, he said, had used it to bar speakers with a history of antisemitism from appearing on campuses.

Yet UCU activist Sue Blackwell had claimed the definition was “not fit for purpose”, he said. Mr Julius said it was a matter of regret that Ms Blackwell had not been called by the union to give evidence to the tribunal.

He said Ms Blackwell had treated Mr Fraser as a “figure of fun” after he spoke during the congress debate last year at which the definition was rejected.

“Absolutely not,” said Ms Hunt. “Jewish members spoke on both sides of the debate. Congress listened very quietly to what Ronnie Fraser had to say. I thought it was a brave speech to have made.”

On Monday, John Mann MP told the tribunal that the union had refused to accept the report of the 2006 All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism. Cross-examined by the UCU’s lawyer Antony White QC, Mr Mann said he had been “gobsmacked” when union representatives, including Ms Hunt, had refused to discuss antisemitism during a meeting in Parliament in 2006.

“The disappointment with UCU is that they were not even properly engaged,” he said.

The tribunal heard its final evidence, after two and a half weeks, on Wednesday. The panel is unlikely to deliver its judgment before the end of the year. “

Also read the tipping point for UCU at Engage.

2 thoughts on “Racism And The UCU

  1. Sarah AB 16/11/2012 / 22:34

    This is another interesting passage from the article.

    “Mr Fraser had complained that Mr Hammond had made antisemitic remarks in a post on the UCU activists’ online forum in January 2010.
    The UCU investigation ruled that the post – which included the suggestion that then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown was “Israel’s man in Number Ten”, and another which implied that “Zionists” were responsible for university department closures – were not antisemitic.
    Mr Julius asked: “Do you think Mr Fraser would be entitled to infer from this decision that the union was not taking antisemitism seriously?” Ms Hunt replied: “I think he would.”
    But she argued that Mr Fraser could not be considered “an ordinary Jewish member of the union” because he had spent so much time working on the issues of anti-Zionism, antisemitism and UCU’s proposed boycott of Israel.”

  2. soupyone 20/11/2012 / 00:25

    Hmm, in the above, Hunt has conceded the argument then brought up an indirect form of bad faith, a rather poor choice for someone representing academics.

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